.INTRODUCTION The study of public policy is a very complex topic, and any attempt to force policy into any

narrow theoretical frame should be considered with some skepticism. On the one hand, there are some real virtues for policy as an area of inquiry for the social sciences, given that it is amenable to so many different perspectives. On the other hand, however, this complexity requires bringing together a wide range of theoretical and analytical perspectives to gain any sort of understanding of what is happening in any policy area. Both academic disciplines and substantive policy concerns tend to narrow the vision and to limit the ability of analysts to understand the underlying complexity of most policies. (Handbook of Public Policy and Administration)

PUBLIC POLICY: SCOPE AND MEANING Public Policy refers to the purposed course of action pursued by actors to realize specific goals within an environmental context where obstacles and opportunities coexist. (Fredrich, 1969) Another view of public policy considers the actions of government and the intentions that determine those actions. It is the outcome of competitive interactions to influence government to perform particular forms of political action. Public policy consists of political decisions regarding the implementation of programs to achieve societal goals. Public policy is whatever government chooses to do or not to do. It is the sum of activities taken by the government whether acting directly or through agents with consequences on the lives of the citizens. Public policy can be influenced by key stakeholders including the private sector and civil society. It addresses social needs and wants through the exercise of governmental capacity. (Dye, 1992) Public policy, also commonly referred to as domestic policy, is a system of laws and regulations that reflect the actions of the government. It is the collective attitude, ideas, and opinions of the citizens of the country and individual states, and it influences the enactment and interpretation of legislation. Public policy reflects the course of action taken by the government to address the needs of society and solve its problems,

safety and welfare. Marshal Edward and Gladys Ogden Dimock. the latter refers to the implementation of the program. defined policy as a choice of a course of action. it may have to look into certain environmental constraints and utilize opportunities that are offered to achieve what it hopes to accomplish. Public policy may have either positive or negative effects. actual or perceived. Public policy is a composite of decisions that government makes and programs it embarks upon or implements to achieve goals. As a definite course of action taken from among a number of alternatives. Some form of overt governmental action may deal with a problem on which action is demanded (positive). Economic and financial advisers and other technocrats do the planning for government but it is the political leaders who actualize the plans. in their book Public Administration. Democratic management prescribes that policies be made only after government has consulted the different sectors of society. it is what the government does and does not do in the areas of public health.encompassing governance and administration and public finance. In certain ways. The making of policy is never solely based upon one specific context or framework. the choice considers situational factors and organizational givens. The two are not realistically separable—the former is the basis for choosing the mechanism for implementation. The former implies a process of formulating and promulgating a program based on a set of principles. a cumulative result of incremental choices and actions. It also reflects the inaction of the government in areas that the government refuses to regulate or govern. Policy-making lies within the executive and legislative domain of public affairs expressed through laws and implemented by administrative agencies of the executive branch. This is precisely the reason why planners and political leaders need to coordinate efforts so that specific target groups and the whole of society will benefit from such policies. it is an aggregation of particular decisions. It may refer to a program of goal values and the accompanying practices that help attain the goal values. Essentially. It is more comprehensive than a decision because it provides the framework within which particular and specific decisions are made. There is always a purposive rationale for a policy and in the process of implementation. or public officials may decide to do nothing on some matter where governmental . Policy is not administration.

involvement is sought (negative). Inaction becomes a public policy when officials decline to act on a problem. and those values vary in cultures and changes overtime. 1993).3) the public policy making process “… includes the manner in which problems get conceptualized and brought to the government for solution. the institutional rules and procedures that may structure the policy process. means that much of the literature . When political scientists have looked at the role of information in the policy process. they have typically seen it simply as a resource to be used in advancing or justifying individual or factional interests (Margolis. Sabatier (1999. policy analysis is used to formulate public policy and to evaluate its effectiveness. 1981). and the tendency for people concerned with a specific policy issue (both inside and outside of government) to form a relatively autonomous networks or subsystems (Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith. governmental institutions. and those solutions get implemented. political scientists on their past have not shown much interest in the role of technical information in policy formation. formulate alternatives and select policy solutions.” If the knowledge utilization literature is not well linked to the literature of political science.p. This tendency. state and municipal levels of government. the broader socioeconomic environments in which political institutions operate. THE POLICY PROCESS According to Paul A. and principles of citizens. Public policy is derived from the values. 1974. morals. Accordingly. public policy can also be implied and vary within the federal. Public policy law is how the legislature and courts act in what they believe to be the best interests of citizens and the general public. Public policy changes and fluctuates frequently because it is rooted in the values that tie society together. preferring to focus on such things as the individual interests and values of policy actors. Wildavsky and Tenenbaum. Public policy laws are most effective when they reflect the most generally values and beliefs of society. evaluated and revised. While public policy laws are written and enacted by Congress and state legislatures. a disciplinary bias perhaps.

Lastly. Yet the political science literature does offer models of the policy process that we can put to our own uses. and politics). To achieve agenda status. or a matter requiring government attention. The identification of policy problems. POLICY STAGES The traditional textbook approach to the study of public policy separates policy making into its component steps and analyzes each in turn. either inside or outside of the government. or assumes away. An issue arises when a public with problem seeks or demands governmental action and there is public disagreement over the best solution to a problem. Though the basic concepts and metaphors of this stages model are now widely diffused throughout the policy literature. These include: 1. the policy process is broken down into analytic units—activities—that are treated as temporally and functionally distinct. The demands that policy makers appear to be acting on. Each policy problem must compete for official attention because legislators and executives have limited time and resources. many issues of central importance to us. constitute policy agenda. or focusing the attention of public officials on specific public problems John Kingdon (1995) holds that agenda setting can be viewed as compromising three mostly independent streams of activity (problems. a public problem must be converted into an issue. which converge into a policy window and permitting a policy agenda. would like to secure action. through demands for governmental action This stage concerns those problems among many that receive the serious attention of public officials. The policy proposal stream comprises possible solutions for problems. 2. proposals. Decisions to consider some problems mean that other will not be taken up.passes over. In both the original and the various modified versions of the stages model. they derive originally from the early works of Harold Lasswell (1951). the politics stream includes such items . The problem stream consists of matters on which policy players. But is should be distinguished from the term political priorities which designates the ranking of agenda. Agenda setting.

At any given time. Only a portion of these problems will succeed in securing agenda status because officials lack time. resources. changes in presidential administration. STREAMS OF POLICY MAKING (Kingdon) POLICY STREAM Problem Stream POLICY STREAM POLICY WINDOW . agenda setting leads to nondecisions (Bacharach and Baratz. or to push to their special problems. Occasionally these streams converge and for a short time. interest. etc. The denial of an agenda happens because of the following reasons: denial that a problem exists. argument that a problem can be adequately treated by non-governmental means. many problems and issues will be competing for the attention of public official. a number of factors can determine whether an issue gets an agenda. including how the problem issue is defined. public opinion. Agenda building is a competitive process. and lastly recourse may be directed to electoral activity. fears about the societal consequence of a proposed policy. Sometimes. and information. policy window is open—an opportunity for advocates of proposals to push their pet solutions.as election results. arguing that a certain problem does not require governmental action. 1970). further study the problem.

person or body to adopt. or information? Capacity building? Whose behavior is supposed to change? Are there direct and indirect targets? Are design choices predicted on our social construction of the target population? How will the program be implemented? Who will lay-out the implementation system? Willa top-down or bottom-up design be selected? Why? 4. . A policy decision involves action by some official.3. Clarity in phrasing and intent also may help protect laws and rules against unfavorable judicial interpretations and provide clear guidance to those assigned of implementation. interest groups. how can we find out? What tools or instruments will be used to put the policy into effect? Will they rely on incentives. people will begin looking for loopholes or trying to bend the meaning of language. their initiation and development. The formulation of policy proposals. The adoption and legitimation of policies through the political actions of government. Policy formulation is also termed as policy design. the executive or legislative branches of government This pertains to the development of pertinent and acceptable proposed courses of action for dealing with public problem. or reject a preferred policy alternative. as soon as these laws or rules go into effect. It is the process by which policies are designed. by policy-planning organizations. interest groups. The table adopted from Birkland (2001) summarizes the elements of policy design. modify. Elements The goals of the policy The causal model The tools of the policy The targets of the policy The implementation policy of the Questions to ask What are the goals of the policy? To eliminate the problem? To alleviate a problem but not entirely eliminate it? To keep a problem from getting worse? What is the causal model? Do we know that if we do X. The writing of laws and rules has to be done skillfully because. Y will result? How de we know this? If we do not know. both through technical analysis and then political process to achieve a particular goal. even though it does not provide all they might like. What is typically involved at the policy adoption stage is not selection from among a number of full-blown policy alternatives but rather action on a preferred policy alternative for which the proponents of action think they can win approval. political parties This focuses on the development of support for specific proposal so that policy can be legitimized and authorized. persuasion.

Bargaining in the form of logrolling. The incremental theory suggests that decision-making is the art of mudding through. The criteria include the consideration into organizational values. and decision rules affect the nature and process of decision-making with regard to policy decision. public opinion. the policy process do not end with implementation. Agencies (mostly coming from the executive) are tasked to realize the conception and principles of policies formulated and adopted. Policy outputs are generated through policy implementation. Political party affiliation. policy values and ideological values. the interest of the constituency. Decision styles vary according to the need of support to pass a bill into a law. professional values.Making a choice among policy alternatives leads to discussion of how government officials make decisions. however. public expenditures. Considering that information. as what happens after a bill becomes a . personal values. decision-making should be pragmatic and incrementally done. It accepts the fact that in large. Perhaps these decision-making styles are best reflected in how majority building in Congress is done. The approaches to decision-making emphasize the procedure and intellectual activities involved in making a decision. time and resources are insufficient at times. the multiple advocacy theory rests on the premise that a competition of ideas and viewpoints is the best method of developing—a multistakeholder approach. Compliance of citizens to policies and enforcement of particular provisions of the policies is mostly in the domain. Public officials especially policy makers are constrained by decision criteria in making a policy decision. The culmination of any policy making process is in the policy implementation or policy administration stage. The rational-comprehensive theory draws considerably from the economist’s point of view of how a rational person would make decisions—utility maximizing. and the activities of executive agencies It denotes the application of the policy by the government’s administrative machinery. Decision-makers can mobilize support to a policy by utilizing persuasion and command among members of congress. Decision-makers are also compelled by a number of factors. The implementation of policies through bureaucracies. complex organizations there will inevitably be conflicts and disagreements over policy. 5. Lastly. side payments and compromise are not uncommon in legislatures.

warning. How effectively the agency carries on its legal mandate and what it actually does or does not accomplish will be substantially affected by the amount of cooperation and political support it can muster from other societal actors. . techniques and target groups that are involved in carrying the policy (Hill and Hupe. loans. Compliance and noncompliance to policies are usually determined by how agencies can effectively implement control techniques may it be coercive and noncoercive. Compliance and regulatory measures can take the form of inspections. license. and sanctions. the congressional system of supervision. market and proprietary operations. procedures. interpretation of statutes and administrative rules and decisions in cases brought before them. informal procedures. communications media and the private sector are all actors that can affect the behavior of agencies implementing public policies. services. the courts. other actors are also involved in policy implementation—directly or indirectly. independent regulatory commissions or plural headed agencies. The legislature is interested in policy implementation through approval of executive appointments. political parties. directive power. and education and information dissemination programs. civil society. organizations. and benefits. contract. The rules of the administration. Non-coercive includes declaration of policy. Civil society—interest groups can influence policy implementation by directly participating in the implementation process (State-civil society projects) or by acting as a watchdog (make them accountable) to government agencies to ensure the proper implementation of a policy. congressional veto and caseworks. the chief executive. taxation. mediations and conciliation.law. subsidies. appeals for voluntary cooperation. The courts are involved in implementation significantly in dealing with crimes. government corporations and independent agencies are the most common implementing arm of public policy. The control techniques authorized for their implementation an important component of public policies. Aside from the executive agencies. other administrative agencies. It consists of those players. Executive departments. general expenditure. 2002).

difficulties in data acquisition. Policies affecting the public problem at which they are directed and the people involved Policies may affect situations or groups other than those at which they are directed (externalities) Policies have consequences for future as well as current conditions. implementation. c. The effects of policies and programs may be either material or symbolic Most of the policy evaluation and monitoring is performed by civil society and the private sector. limited time and resources. difficulty in determining policy causality. Evaluation encompasses the estimation. and administrative agencies perform selfmonitoring and evaluation. including its content. The impact of a policy may have several dimensions. Problems in policy monitoring and evaluation become difficult because of uncertainly over policy goals. and lacking influence in evaluation. Formal monitoring and evaluation of public policies are facilitated through mechanisms such as Congressional oversights. 1992). diffused policy impact. e. and other effects. b. It may also try to identify factors that contribute to success and failure of a policy. general audit or accounting office. they also entail costs. d. Policy outcome and impact is being studied.6. Just as policies have positive effects or benefits. goal attainment. Media and the academe also perform monitoring and evaluation of policies implemented by the government. Policy outcomes are measured and analyzed in policy evaluation. all of which should be taken into account either in the conduct of a formal evaluation or in the course of an informal appraisal of the policy (Dye. The following are: a. . assessment or appraisal of a policy. the formation of presidential commissions. The evaluation of a policy’s programmatic implementation and impact It refers to efforts to determine whether the policy was effective why or why not? The outcome of policy and its impact on the problem that it should address is emphasized in policy monitoring and evaluation. official resistance.

The committee structure helps divide the task in Congress so that each member need not study every bill that is introduced. Executive. The executive lobbies these programs/plans through a State of a Nation address. the committee helps Congress prioritize the legislation that will be addressed. Policy Adoption 4. Priority plans are often . Agenda Setting 2. Courts Legislature. Policy Formulation 3. Bills. Legislature. Civil Society. Judiciary. Courts Legislature The legislature body is engaged in the central task of lawmaking and policy formulation. The president wields her power to be able to mobilize support for priority projects that needs legislation. concurrent resolution. Private Sector Administrative Agencies. Any form of administration or regime sets out strategic plans and programs usually at the national level. Civil Society. It is important in almost all stages of the policy process—from agenda setting to policy evaluation. Private Sector. independent.stage 1. joint resolutions. exclusive entity with regard to policy making. Administrative Agencies. Civil Society. Executive The executive branch through its highest official—the President—plays a key role in policy making. Executive. Policy Implementation Policy Process Element Policy Inputs Process Process Policy Output 5. Civil Society. Private Sector Legislature. and amendments are outputs expected from Congress. Organizationally. it also monitors and evaluate laws passed through casework and oversight activities. Policy Monitoring and Policy Outcomes/Impact Evaluation Actor (according to extent of role in the policy process Civil Society. it cannot be assumed that a legislature simply has the formal designation to make laws. Executive. Executive. Executive Legislature. is one. Private Sector. The legislature does more than the role of introducing bills and making laws. Legislature. However. Private Sector.

Civil Society Civil society groups take an important part in policy making. that is they can express demands and present alternatives for policy action. letter of instruction and other policy instruments. are a major source of demands for public policy. public officials confront the need to choose . questions and issues regarding the procedures and content of policy are resolved in the arena of the judiciary. This makes the executive an integral part in the policy process aside from the power of formulating executive orders. Public policy reiterates how government entities affect societies and vice versa. business and agriculture. Groups often have conflicting desires on a policy issue. Implementing agencies are held accountable with regard to enforcement of politics and statutes. Decisions made by the judiciary regarding interpretation of a policy can be basis for future policy proposals. Citizen’s social action and behavior is affected by public policies that will be enforced by governmental agencies. Bureaucracy The bureaucracy is engage in the policy process mostly in the policy implementation stage. Non-governmental organizations. Judiciary The court system is a key aspect of the policy process. Interest groups want to influence policy on a specific subject. Groups can perform an interest-articulation function.packaged in macro-programs such as the Medium Term Development plans—indicating the goals and strategies of the administration. The judiciary takes part in the policy as how it is meant to be enforced. people’s organization—lumped as civil society—can also supply public officials with much information. and perhaps not available from other sources about the nature and possible consequences of policy proposals. Moreover. Administrative agencies serve as the implementing arm in the public policy process. Interest groups. organizations such as those representing organized labor. technical and other forms of support.

“the academe” are important players in the policy process. Interest groups also bring pressure to formal policy makers such as legislators through lobbying of certain policy proposals. and evaluate the effectiveness and consequences of public policy. In modern political systems. political parties often perform the function of interest aggregation. as agenda setters in that they help determine what people think about. conflicting demands. They represent interested that in their absence would go un-represented such as consumers. Groups that are well organized and active are likely to fare better. news magazines. television and the Internet participate in policy-making as suppliers and transmitters of information. Political Parties Aside from winning in political contestation. or reconcile.among. develop alternatives and proposals for handling problems. Support of citizens for a particular policy proposal necessitates effective information campaign. parties have various stances on several policy issues. and. Academics “Think tanks”. radio. research organizations. They seek to convert the particular demands of interest groups onto general policy alternative. Their studies and reports provide basic information and data on policy issues. The ideological stances are basis for the feasibility of a certain policy proposal. whether intentionally otherwise. LEVELS OF POLICY-MAKING . shapers of attitudes. environmentalists or good governance advocates. Parties also have great influence on segment of society—often defining their political support. Media Newspapers. Public interest groups also are important players in the policy process.

Ideally. It is the policy of the party in power presumably approved by the electorate. It is possible that lower level executives formulate sub-policies not in keeping with the broad national perspective especially in the absence of clear-cut guidelines and when too wide latitude of discretion is allowed to local or lower executives. fiscal and monetary affairs. from the general policy decided at the top level of the administrative hierarchy to the more particular and specific as one move down the lower levels. government experts and technocrats. Since executive policy may require amendment of existing law. Thus broad policies of economic development pronounced by the Chief Executive may make for sub-policies like countryside development or rural electrification as geographic variations and resources justify. Responsibility for the implementation of certain aspects of executive policy is assigned to an appropriate department secretary.There is a policy making at different levels of the governmental structure. . each level having a different kind of output. representatives of interest groups constituted as advisory councils like the National Security Council for security affairs. the platform of the winning party becomes the political policy. Executive-legislative rapport is important at this point. a board or a committee which the executive chooses to create for this purpose. Political Policy This is also known as general policy. it is this level that legislative proposals are recommended to Congress. A study of the activities of government discloses four levels of policy. This could be a compromise of different interpretations of general policy by cabinet members. if the competing political parties have specific and differentiated platforms. and the National Economic Council for economic. Executive Policy This is the policy of the executive branch which is based upon the general policy.

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